By Teka Lark (January 2, 2018)
It was just the 155th Anniversary of Freedom’s Eve.
Freedom’s Eve began in 1862 on New Year’s Eve. It was the night before the Proclamation of Emancipation issued by President Lincoln.
People often think that slavery ended after that. It did not.
People weren’t freed automatically on January 1, 1863.
In order for people to become free they had to get away from their master and the Proclamation only applied to 3 million of the 4 million enslaved Black people.
“It authorized the Union armed forces to carry this into effect as they took control of areas of the Confederacy. When they received fleeing slaves, they were no longer to return them to their masters. The Proclamation also authorized the Union armies to recruit these freed slaves to fight.”
So on December 31, 1862 Free Black people and enslaved Black people gathered at Methodist and Baptist churches around the country and resolved to fight to make sure the order to outlaw the evil that was slavery enforced and to free Black people all around the US regardless of what that piece of paper said.
We are still fighting.